HELENA – St. Peter’s Health has increased their visitation restrictions due to the rising cases of influenza in the area.
All visitors are being asked to sanitize their hands when they enter the St. Peter’s and visitors now need to check in at nurses’ stations if they are visiting a patient.
If someone is flu-positive, post-pneumonia, exhibiting flu like symptoms or are under the age of 12 they will need to wear a mask and wash their hands before and after visiting the patient.
St. Peter’s Health says that they need to take these extra precautions to ensure the safety of patients, children and staff.
Director of Quality Jon Scallan MBA HCM, CPHQ says, “Nationally it’s one of the worst flue outbreaks that we’ve seen in recent years.”
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services define flu activity in Montana as widespread and as of February 3rd, there have been 4,269 cases, 487 hospitalizations and 24 deaths from the virus this season.
St. Peter’s Health says that as of February 4th, St. Peter’s Health laboratory has confirmed 315 cases of influenza in the hospital and clinics. Of those confirmed cases, 68 were children 12 and under.
Staff encouraged people to express their well wishes to patients by phone or card instead of making personal visits or they can send a message directly via https://www.sphealth.org/MessageAPatient.
For more information about influenza and prevention tips visit their website.